Redemption Christian Academy
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Meet our Staff
In addition to its regular full-time staff, Redemption Christian Academy has a number of professionals including business men and women, entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, college educators, and retirees who volunteer as teaching faculty and guest lecturers. All work together diligently to educate each RCA student's heart, head, and hands. "An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't... It's knowing, where to go to find out what you need to know; and it's knowing how to use the information you get" (William Feather).


Dr. James Tkacik, Ph. D.
Dr. James Tkacik has both taught and conducted research at the University of Connecticut and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He brings a wealth of knowledge from years of experience in the corporate world. He has both tutored and taught math and science at Redemption Christian Academy since 1996. The first RCA student he mentored subsequently graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and later earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from Morehouse College.

Dr. Holly Shulman, Ph. D., M.S.
Dr. Holly Shulman is President and Chief Technical Officer of her own company, Ceralink, Inc. She has been a Research Associate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and was also an adjunct faculty member at Alfred University. She has been a science and lab teacher, guest lecturer, and mentor at Redemption Christian Academy since 2010. She is responsible for securing National Science Foundation research grants for RCA staff and students.

Sandra Luraas, M.S. Ed.
Sandra Luraas, RCA's English instructor and reading specialist since 1979, teaches students with the latest technology through our virtual classroom. Her students have done primary source research on the Underground Railroad which they have presented at various colleges and historical societies. Many of her students have won writing contests and have had their works published. She was named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year. She also coordinates International student services.

Laura Holmes, M.A.
Laura Holmes has been Vice Principal at RCA since 1979. In addition to being a certified high school teacher, she supervises curriculum development, coordinates RCA's community volunteer program, and is the director of International student services. Aligned with her master's in social policy, she served on the Mayor's Interfaith Steering Committee for the City of Troy and was a member of the United Way Allocations Committee. She is the recipient of a Research Experiences for Teachers grant through the National Science Foundation.

Lataya Lewis, MSW
Lataya Lewis is an RCA alumnus who has been a Rensselaer County Family and Children Services case manager. She has worked for the Commission on Economic Opportunity, counseled in the public school system, worked with seniors and homeless families, and has been a substance abuse prevention counselor. Lataya Lewis assists in coordinating activities for middle school aged children at RCA and has worked with RCA's boarding girls.

James Beck, M.S.
James Beck was employed at General Electric Research and Development Center as a staff engineer in the automation systems lab and has been self-employed as an engineering consultant. This allows him the time to volunteer as a math mentor and tutor at Redemption Christian Academy, which he has done since 2009.

Roosevelt Banks
Roosevelt Banks is a former Naval nuclear power engineer who attended the Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida. He also studied and finished in the top 5% at the Knolls Atomic Power Lab S7G Nuclear Prototype. He became the Chief Reactor Watch onboard the USS Eisenhower. Roosevelt Banks later returned to the Knolls Atomic Power Lab as an instructor of officers, enlisted men, and civilians. His engineering and teaching background makes a perfect fit for RCA's science and engineering program. He recently received a scholarship from the ASM Materials Education Foundation and attended a graduate level summer training program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for teachers in materials science and engineering.

Gloria Walker
Gloria Walker is a former bank manager who has served both as a community center board member and a school board member in New York State. She is Director of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI). She facilitates the virtual classroom with participating faculty and is also involved in curriculum development of RCA's Agricultural Engineering Program.

Margaret Vorih
Margaret Vorih has a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of Arizona and is working on her Master's degree. A former district manager with the Detroit newspapers, she has taught and tutored in ministry and private settings for over twenty years. She worked in both urban and suburban Detroit Metro area with children and youth. Because of her diverse experiences including being raised in St. Louis, Missouri, going to elementary school on the Navajo Reservation, living in Tucson and Detroit; Margaret brings a unique perspective to the students of Redemption Christian Academy.

Sarah Hoffman, M.Ed
Sarah Hoffman is helping our students with the college admission process. She brings a wealth of experience in college counseling and college admission to RCA. She was an Assistant Director of Admission at Smith College and worked in admission at McGill University in Montreal and College of Charleston. For many years she was a College Counselor at Northfield Mount Hermon School where she worked extensively with DI basketball players and has run summer college counseling workshops at Yale and Tufts. Currently she's a college counselor at Newton North High School outside Boston. Her Master's Degree is from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

James McCarthy
James McCarthy has worked for a major consulting service as a professional recruiter and customer representative. He has also been the owner and operator of a small company. James McCarthy has been a volunteer tutor and mentor at Redemption Christian Academy since 1996. He has tutored students in virtually all subjects.

Ann McGuirk
Ann McGuirk is a retired substitute teacher from the Brittonkill School District . She is also a former Executive Day Care Director. She has tutored elementary students at RCA since 2009.


Dr. Douglas Mitchell, former Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology
Dr. Douglas Mitchell is a former research scientist, successful businessman, and philanthropist. He is one of a very few living contemporary pioneers in the development of Sonodynamic Photodynamic Therapy, an innovative therapy for metastatic cancer. He has worked in this field since 2002 and operated one of the first clinics in the world to bring this effective and safe therapy to cancer patients. Read More

Professor Tony Scardillo, Siena College
Tony Scardillo has taught as an adjunct professor at a number of colleges: Siena College, Maria College, The College of Saint Rose, Sage College of Albany, and Mildred Elley School. He has taught business, advertising & marketing, and finance & communications.

Professor Terry Marashlian, University of San Francisco
Terry Marashlian has taught art at the University of San Francisco. He has volunteered with RCA students doing project planning for outdoor art.

Ronald Court, Founder of Booker T. Washington Society
Ronald Court is founder and President of the Booker T. Washington Society. He assisted RCA with establishing a chapter of the Booker T. Washington Society. He has provided curriculum and served as a volunteer guest lecturer at RCA.

Donald Hinsdale
Donald Hinsdale has worked for the State of New York, primarily with the Department of Health. He has a college and graduate school background in mathematics and statistics. Donald Hinsdale has volunteered at RCA as a tutor, mentor, and sponsor. He has also helped secure curriculum supplements and technology for RCA. The Donald A. Hinsdale Dining Hall was recently named in his honor for his years of faithful support.

Jeff Raia
Jeff Raia is a president and owner of Capital Living Estates, Inc. Jeff is Toastmaster, DTM, ALS (the highest distinction) for over 12 years. He has been president of Toastmasters as well as Youth Leadership Instructor. Jeff has assisted many organizations: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Hudson Valley Community College, Junior Achievement, Travel and House Soccer Leagues. He has volunteered at Redemption Christian Academy, enthusiastically preparing students for off-campus presentations.

Edward Harper
Edward Harper is a retired administrator from New York State Affirmative Action and Minority and Women Business Development who taught Basic Literacy and High School Equivalency Preparation for 9 years at Albany City School District. He is also a docent with the New York State Museum and has been an RCA volunteer teacher, mentor, and guest lecturer since 2003.
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